With spring in the air and summer around the corner, it couldn’t be a better time to visit Long Island’s Wine Country. If travel is not in your plans then I have the perfect wines to begin your exploration of Long Island. Long Island wineries offer great wines and unique experiences. Food, wine, culture, and craft: It’s all here in the wine country of Long Island.
Long Island offers diverse wines, a region that is producing high-quality and exciting wines. Here you will find, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Moscato Giallo, Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and many other varieties. There is diversity in grapes as well as styles, from sparkling, reds, whites, rosés and dessert wines. The region’s cool maritime climate is ideal for a wide range of grape varieties.
Long Island (also known as Paumanok by the Native Americans) extends from New York City and ends in the towns of Greenport in the north and Montauk in the south. A two-hour drive from New York City, at the island’s tip, the land splits into the North and South Forks, abutting the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. With 57 wine producers, Long Island is comprised of three American Viticultural Areas; Long Island AVA, Hamptons Long Island AVA and North Fork Long Island AVA.
Long Island’s maritime climate gives way to warm summers that are tempered by cooling breezes off the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean that prevents excessive summer heat. These same breezes provide buffering during the winter months, protecting the vineyards from the extreme cold.
The main soil types are the Haven Loam and Riverhead Sandy Loam on the North Fork and the Bridgehampton Silt Loam and Haven Loam on the South Fork. The soils have excellent drainage and modest fertility, which control vine growth and promote grape ripening in the fall.
Six Long Island Wines To Try Now
From large estate vineyards to boutique family-owned operations, here are six wines that you must try. These six Long Island wines are restrained, intense in aroma, and crisp.
Palmer Vineyards Pinot Blanc 2019 (SRP $28)
Owned and operated by the Massoud Family, Palmer Vineyards has established itself as one of the most visible and well-reputed Long Island estate wineries. Throughout the years, the vineyard and its wines have received numerous accolades.
This Pinot Blanc is the perfect opportunity for a getaway. Flavors of pineapple, allspice and vanilla take your palate on a tropical journey. Every sip will have you drifting away.
Anthony Nappa Wines Non-Vintage Frizzante (SRP $25)
Anthony Nappa creates remarkable wines from the best vineyards in New York. The family winery makes wines with no additives, they are unadulterated and straightforward, with honest marketing and labeling to allow their wines to shine their best on their own.
A blend of 45% Pinot Noir, 30% Viognier & 25% Moscato Giallo this wine is made sparkling by secondary fermentation in the bottle and aged ‘Sur Lie’ in a bottle conditioned style. Produced in the traditional Italian Col Fondo method, lightly sparkling and intensely aromatic with floral notes and cotton-candy flavors, this wine finishes with crisp dry acidity.
Macari Sauvignon Blanc Katherine’s Field 2020 (SRP $24)
As owners and hands-on operators, the Macari family is dedicated to producing balanced, age-worthy wines. The Macari family has owned the 500-acre waterfront farm for over fifty years. Joseph Macari Jr. is considered a pioneer in the movement toward natural farming on Long Island through his adoption of biodynamic principles since the vineyard’s first plantings.
Made with 100% Sauvignon Blanc and fermented in stainless steel. the wine has a Pale lemon color with aromas of lime zest and tarragon. Light body, clean, focused mouthfeel, and lingering linear acidity.
Sannino Vineyard Chilly Day Chardonnay 2020 (SRP $25)
With a focus on growing and crafting quality wines on the North Fork of Long Island, Sannino Vineyard is family-owned and operated by Anthony and Lisa Sannino. They focus on wine education, low-impact farming and holistic approaches to winemaking.
Chilly Day is a dry unoaked Chardonnay, the perfect wine to warm you up on a chilly day. It is fresh and zippy with notes of lemon and pear. There is a lovely texture on the palate with a nice long finish.
Lenz Estate Selection Merlot 2015 (SRP $35)
Peter & Deborah Carroll bought the Lenz Winery in 1988, ten years after its founding, and when the Long Island wine community comprised fewer than ten established wineries. Philosophically, they are big believers in maintaining varietal characteristics and producing low intervention wines.
The Lenz Merlot is a prime example of the age-ability of Long Island wines. This is a 2015 Merlot from the Lenz Estate Selection made from ripe grapes harvested in mature vineyards. The characteristic flavor profile is deep and rich, full of black cherries and dark red plums, with plenty of soft-and-supple tannins.
Rose Hill Vineyards Wild Boar Doe 2019 (SRP $45)
Rose Hill Vineyards is small and humble. Their philosophy is that growing grapes for a great wine is a blend of science, art, and folk wisdom. They believe that great wine begins in the vineyard and should reflect the region where its grapes are grown.
This playful, Bordeaux blend harmonizes the best attributes of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot & Malbec into ‘Wild Boar Doe.’ Spicy, aromatic and full-bodied, it is definitely suited for the big-red drinker.
Visit Long Island Wine Country
A visit to Long Island wine country is a must. Only a two-hour drive from New York City, Long Island wine country offers beautiful beaches, lush vineyards, charming wineries, eclectic restaurants, oyster shacks, cute towns, luxury accommodations and farm stands selling fresh locally-grown produce. It is the perfect coastal escape for great wine, food and relaxation. Long Island is where wine country meets beach life.